Halloween: Deadliest day for children on the road

Local News

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WIAT) – Halloween is a statistically scary day for pedestrians. The latest federal safety data shows that children are three times more likely to be killed by a vehicle on October 31 than any other day of the year.

“Pedestrian fatalities are up across the country,” said Rhonda Stricklin, Associate Director with the Center for Advanced Public Safety–or CAPS. The center works with state agencies to look at the historical data generated by yearly crash reports. That information can be used to show where, when, and why those accidents are happening; which can help with enforcement plans to prevent future crashes.

“One thing to really note for Halloween is the time that those crashes normally happen,” explained Stricklin.

According to Alabama’s data, the majority of pedestrian-involved crashes over the past five years have happened between 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. That also happens to be a peak time for treat-or-treaters.

“We’d ask the parents to escort their kids while they’re trick-or-treating,” said Sgt. Johnny Williams with Birmingham Police. “Or someone older who can look out for them–make sure they stay off the road. Make sure their mask or costume doesn’t hinder their vision.”

Experts also recommend that children carry flashlights, wear lighter colors, and put reflective tape on their costumes.

“Of course, officers will be out in the neighborhoods, looking out for kids and trying to make sure they’re safe,” said Williams. “We’re suggesting that a lot of people take advantage of events that are taking place throughout the city.”

One event that Williams mentioned is the city of Birmingham’s Harvest Festival. It’s happening on Halloween night, starting at 5:30 p.m. at Linn Park.

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